In alphabetical order
This category is for LGBT+ community’s favourite music artists and looked for musicians who are either LGBT+, or who have proven to be strong advocates of the LGBT+ community.
Adele is 27-year-old English singer/songwriter. She is hugely popular in the UK and one of the world’s best-selling artists, with albums that have gone platinum multiple times internationally. Her album, 21, holds the record for the longest-running number one album by a female solo artist in the history of the UK and the USA. She is a feminist and is outspoken about her support for equal rights. In 2011, she performed for Pride London and has been quoted as saying that she can’t wait to find out who her son’s girlfriend or boyfriend will be.
Frank Ocean is an 28-year-old American singer/songwriter and rapper. Frank’s career began as a ghostwriter for artists such as Justin Bieber, John Legend and Brandy. In 2012, he released his debut studio album Channel Orange to universal acclaim. It was later named the best album of the year in HMV’s Poll of Polls and earned him six Grammy Award nominations. He came out in a post on Tumblr in 2012, which was met with support from artists including Kanye West. He is currently working on his second album and features on Kanye West’s new album, The Life of Pablo, with Sia.
Twenty-one-year-old singer/songwriter Halsey is an American solo artist who rose to fame through YouTube and SoundCloud. She has supported The Kooks and Imagine Dragons on tour and released her debut album, Badlands, in 2015 to critical acclaim. She is openly bisexual and her video for Ghost features a lesbian couple, for which Halsey said she wanted to represent a lesbian relationship that wasn’t “over-sexualised”, just “two people in love”. She has recently collaborated with Justin Bieber on the song The Feeling.
Jess Glynne is a 26-year-old singer/songwriter from London, England. She’s most famous for her single Rather Be with electro group, Clean Bandit, which reached number one in the UK and later won a Grammy Award for Best Dance Record. In 2015, she came out as sexually fluid, saying, “I’m never going to put a label on my sexuality and people should never feel uncomfortable about who they love.” She confirmed that her debut album was written about a break-up with an ex-girlfriend.
Pop group Little Mix were formed in 2011 during the eighth season of The X Factor. Their debut album DNA charted in the top five in eight countries, including number two in the UK. The album earned them the title of the highest debut U.S. chart position by a British girl group. They believe their single, Secret Love Song Pt II, has helped “loads” of their fans to come out as gay.
Sam Smith is a 23-year-old award-winning English singer/songwriter, who rose to fame with their* album In the Lonely Hour in 2014. Sam came out as gay in 2014, during an interview with Fader magazine, saying “In the Lonely Hour is about a guy that I fell in love with last year, and he didn’t love me back… It’s about a guy and that’s what I wanted people to know — I want to be clear that that’s what it’s about.” Last year they* showed his support of equal marriage by ‘getting married’ to another man in their* music video for single, Lay Me Down. Sam has said that they wants to become a “voice for gay youth”.
*This entry has been amended since publishing as Sam has since come out as non-binary.
Years & Years
Years & Years are a British electronic group whose sixth single, King, reached number one in the UK Singles Chart, after being previewed on BBC Radio 1 and selected as Zane Lowe’s Hottest Record of the Day. Their debut album entered the UK charts at number one and, in January 2015, the group won the BBC Sound of the Year Award. In 2015, frontman Olly Alexander revealed he is gay and in a relationship, during an interview with The Downtowner.
Zayn Malik is a 23-year-old singer/songwriter who was previously a member of the world’s most famous pop group, One Direction. He released his debut solo single, Pillow Talk, in February, which made history by becoming the 25th song ever to debut at the top of Billboard 100. In 2014, when asked about sexuality, he told his fans: “Just be yourself. If that’s who you are, that’s who you are and don’t be afraid to be the person that you are.”